Daria and Daria Place, the streets that will be gated off from the public, for the George and Laura Bush home, have long been the forgotten streets of the Preston Hollow estate area. The value of the land on Daria and Daria Place as indicated fairly accurately by the Dallas County Appraisal District is approximately one million dollars an acre. This is considerably lower than the $2.5 million to $3 million an acre that Preston Hollow lots have recently sold for in Preston Hollow.
There are several reasons the prices are so much lower on the “Darias” – short dead end streets – than on the other streets of the very desirable neighborhood of Mayflower Estates or in the general Preston Hollow estate area.
Daria and Daria Place are right next to the Tollway which historically is a less desirable place to live than next to a meadow, forest or lake or in areas that are not associated with noise and pollution.
Schools within walking distance of a home can be an asset to a neighborhood, especially if the school is in Highland Park. However, in the estate area, where a large number of children attend elite Dallas private schools, a public school is mostly associated with the cars, buses, and noise, it contributes to the immediate neighbors.
The Daria lots were carved out of the back of the adjacent estate property over 50 years ago. Large lots accommodated substantial houses but this development was never intended for significant estate homes or architect-designed homes that are so often found in the other parts of Mayflower Estates and Preston Hollow.
No matter where President and Mrs. Bush might have purchased a home, the value of the homes around it would have gone up. The President Bush gates on Daria compound the escalation in land prices the Bushes would normally bring to a street. The Bush gates on Daria change the impression of the street and force people to re-evaluate their previous impressions of Daria and Daria Place.
Homebuyers like the privacy, security, and exclusivity gated communities provide. Gated neighborhoods are rare in older established neighborhoods because gated neighborhoods require developers to acquire enough land to create private streets that are owned by the homeowners association. As a result, there are only a few gated neighborhoods in Preston Hollow.
The most prestigious gated neighborhood in Preston Hollow is Los Arboles, shown above, which enjoys magnificent estate homes on one-acre lots, small lakes and winding streets. Glen Lakes is another prestigious gated community with lakes and smaller lots.
There is little opportunity for new gated neighborhoods because golf courses and all the other low hanging fruit for developers has already been bought up for development. Now it almost takes a presidential decree to obtain permission to put up gates on a public street. This limited supply of gated neighborhoods is the reason for the sales success of one-acre lots in the new gated development at the intersection of Royal Lane and Inwood Roads. This 30 acres of land had originally been assembled at $1,000,000 an acre as an estate property for Kenny Troutt. He sold it to developers who then gated the neighborhood and sold $3 million one-acre lots to spec builders who are offering homes for sale up to $11,500,000.
One reason that the land prices on President Bush’s street and neighborhood will go up so rapidly is that the real estate community is usually behind buyers in recognizing the real value of a neighborhood that has had positive change. After years of dismissing or ignoring a neighborhood, it is hard for real estate agents to then look at the neighborhood objectively or recommend it to clients. As a result, it often takes years for the real estate community to change their perception of a neighborhood.
This was true on the University Park blocks close to Central Expressway. These blocks suffered from the perception of Central Expressway noise, pollution and one-story from rent houses. The prices on these blocks remained low for a long time after Central Expressway had been lowered, a sound wall constructed, small linear parks installed along the wall and many of the rent houses replaced by very nice two-story homes. Eventually the homes in this new lovely environment gained parity with other University Park locations.
Another example of the real estate community hanging on to old impressions is the Turtle Creek Park neighborhood. The prices of this Turtle Creek neighborhood were low because the real estate community associated the neighborhood with trains running along the Katy Trail instead of joggers on the Katy Trail that replaced the railroad tracks.
Estate homes and estate lots that were also discounted on Cochran Chapel because this street was on the west side of Midway even thought it was just as convenient to downtown, the private schools and as beautiful as Bluffview found on the east side of Midway.
Even the prices of the Acreage Addition in Highland Park lagged behind the rest of Highland Park because it was on the northern boundary of Dallas. Eventually these beautiful homes on elevated lots commanded as much or more than the rest of Highland Park as buyers recognized the beauty of the land, and became more aware of the spectacular homes and neighborhoods in Dallas that had become so popular adjacent to the Acreage Addition. A whole new perception of Dallas benefitted all of Highland Park, especially the Acreage Addition.
For years the real estate community has dismissed Daria Place as being too far north, not in Preston Hollow, too close to the Tollway, having out of date houses, too close to a public school and difficult to find. All of these perceptions will change as people will take a fresh look at the gated neighborhood for the home of President and Mrs. Bush.
While the homes on Daria and Daria Place will still be close to the Tollway, once the gates are installed the neighborhood will be seen in a new and more favorable light. All of a sudden it will occur to people that large Tollway sound walls have been installed, reflecting noise away from the homes on Daria. Current emission standards have eliminated much of the previous haze that hung over the street and nearby homes. Neighborhood gates also have a way of making people forget about traffic. The gated development, The Creeks of Preston Hollow, at Inwood and Royal is a good example. The traffic at this busy intersection of Royal and Inwood is still just as close, but somehow a gated neighborhood makes a person feel removed from any unpleasantness of the world around them and are willing to buy a $10, 000,000 home.
Land prices go up more rapidly in neighborhoods where there are low contributing values to the existing structures. This allows for the rapid turnover of the modest houses that are replaced by expensive estate homes. Homeowners much prefer building or buying an estate home in a neighborhood that already has estate homes or where there is an expectation that the original modest neighborhood homes will soon be replaced with expensive estate homes.
An objective look reveals Daria and Daria Place are located in Mayflower Estates, the most prestigious neighborhood in Preston Hollow; the one-acre lots on these short streets are adjacent to the 15 acre Phillips estate and the 25 acre Hicks estate, the most expensive and important estate home in Dallas; the existing Daria houses valued at $1 million are way under the current price of $2.5 million – $3 million that the Preston Hollow one-acre estate lots are currently selling for, making it relatively easy to purchase and tear them down for new estate homes; and the neighborhood benefits from President George Bush and Laura Bush being a Daria Place neighbor. Sure, there are some people who have an aversion to Republicans, but there are still several million people in the Dallas area who would enjoy being neighbors of George and Laura Bush.
In the last month, estate lots in Preston Hollow have sold for $2.5 million to $3 million. The location, exclusivity and prestige associated with Mayflower Estates and President Bush will bring lot values up to at least the lot values found in the other prime Preston Hollow neighborhoods.